“Grote steden verzuipen in de fietsen.”
“Big cities are drowning in bikes.”
I love my bike. In fact, I love all of my bikes. I rarely wonder whether I will travel by bike or not – the proper question is which bike to take: my tiny foldable bike, which travels for free in the train, my enormous mummy bicycle, which carries more luggage (and children) than a small car and looks much like a military vehicle adorned with plastic flowers, or my crummy fourth-hand, which is not worth any bicycle thieve’s while. I find that cycling is the fastest, easiest and (really!) most comfortable way to get anywhere in the city.
However, finding an appropriate spot to stall any of my beloved bikes is another matter.
Last Monday, daily newspaper Trouw reported that the bicycle traffic in all Dutch cities threatens to stagnate. According to the newspaper’s survey, the number of people who travel by bike keeps growing drastically every year. According to the Amsterdam alderman of traffic Eric Wiebes, the shortage of appropriate areas to stall all those bikes is a big threat to the accessibility of the train stations.
The Fietsersbond (Cyclist’s Association) adds that almost all Dutch cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants are having a hard time to provide enough bicycle parking places. Especially the student cities are struggling with the overflow of bikes. The bond remarks that these bicycle related problems can drive people back into their cars.
The four big cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Utrecht are all planning to create more parking space for bicycles in the very near future – which will probably mean that I’ll be able to choose my military vehicle over my foldable specimen more often.
Marloes van Rooijen